JP proposes amendment to classify homosexuality as a serious criminal offense

Jumhooree Party leader, Qasim Ibrahim has proposed to classify homosexuality as a serious criminal offense.

The amendment proposed by Qasim stated that those who practice homosexuality are a danger to society. It states that such people should be isolated from society before the ill effects of their wrongful ways reach their own families and society as a whole. Therefore, homosexuality must be included in the list of serious offenses in the Criminal Procedure Code of the Maldives, it said.

Qasim proposed such an amendment while explicit videos of prominent businessmen, government officials, and a number of other people having homosexual relations with a Bangladeshi national have been leaked on social media. Those arrested for their involvement in the videos include Parliament Speaker and former Maldives' President Mohamed Nasheed's brother, Nazim Abdul Sattar, former Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed, and a Drug Enforcement Department officer Abdul Rahman Rafeeq. Charges have been raised against all three and the Bangladeshi national.

However, as the charges against them are not classified as serious criminal offenses, they have now been released. The four were charged under the Penal Code and the Sexual Offenses Act. If convicted under the Sex Act, they face five to seven years in prison and an additional prison sentence under the Penal Code.